Maaaan… I blew that audition!
I stagger out of the room, and all I can focus on is the overseas director staring blankly at the monitor and – in that way cool London accent – saying to me: “Yeah. Thanks for that. We’ll be in touch. Yeah.”
Bloody hell. Why do I always blow the big overseas auditions !!??
I drag my self-pitying self back to the car and, from the cheap seats, my two young boys – without lifting their eyes from iPads, sing out: “How’d it go Dad?” (I love that word.)
“Nah. Don’t think I cracked that one.”
My 11 year-old, eyes still fixed on the iPad, sings back: “Yeah. I think you got it, Dad.”
(Did I tell you I love that word? Well, actually, I love being it.)
“How do you know? You were in the car.”
I say that in a grumpier voice than I meant. (Yes I know. Kids left in car. Bad dad. But I wasn’t playing pokies. I was creating art. Sort of.)
I stare at my boys wondering if they have tapped into some sort of future telling, mystical, iPad portal, timeline continuance, out of the mouth of babes type, twilight zone thing.
But I only get: “Ah stink! I hate this game. Can I buy The Walking Dead game, Dad?”
“No. Turn those off and let’s go get Mum. I gotta see her.”
Lo and behold, a few weeks later, I sign the contract for the job.
In that shortened tale is what I think is the cause and strength for my achievements and endurance in this biz. No, not a soothsaying 11 year-old, but the support I get.
I’m not talking about support among a gaggle of actors on set, on stage, or in the moment. (Hate that word.)
I’m talking about off set, off stage and in unemployed times. I think every one of us actors/actresses needs that someone or those somebodies who will ground us in the real world, because this industry is all about making the unreal seem real and it’s pretty tempting for me to indulge myself with the feeling that what goes on while I’m acting is the sole reason the universe exists, and everyone should be goddamn grateful that I do it.
I’ve met plenty of actors and actresses who believe that.
My support/rock/force is clearly my whanau but, most singularly, it’s my partner.
I gauge the success or failure of my work by two criteria. One is how honest I felt I was in the story my character is telling. (This is where the feedback from directors and producers comes into play.) And the other is the feedback from my partner.
The first one stops me from making choices prompted by my ego (Bad) and keeps my story-telling somewhere near honesty. (Good)
The second one stops me from being a dick. (Although, if I try hard enough, I can achieve that one all by my lonesome.)
So, the job my son foretold has me in Raro, which is beautiful. I’m draining a cold beer after a long, hot day of acting my little heart out and, from the pool-side bar, I look out to an azure coloured sea and, not more than 50 metres away from where me and my beer sit, I see whales breaching.
Shit, I love this job.
Can’t wait to get home though.
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